It happens to the best of us: someone has hurt you in some way and you have to chart that long, complicated path toward forgiveness.
Getting to the point of forgiveness can be a journey in itself; one that is rewarding once you can honestly say to the person, and yourself, that you have forgiven him or her for the offense that person did to you.
With forgiveness, we are instructed by Jesus in scripture that “if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (Matt. 6:14, NKJV). He reiterated the importance of forgiveness again when Peter asked how many times to forgive a brother in Christ. “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (Matt. 18:22, NKJV).
But the real question is…now what? What do you do now that you have forgiven the person but don’t want a repeat of history with him or her? By forgiveness, does that mean you are only setting yourself up to be hurt by this person again, to be his or her doormat?
It is possible to move forward after forgiving someone, while still protecting yourself from getting hurt again. It takes an evaluation of the relationship, setting boundaries, and finding true and lasting peace.
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